BARIPADA: As part of NDA Government’s ‘Focus East’ plan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a slew of projects worth over Rs 4,500 crore in northern parts of the State on Saturday. This is Modi’s second visit to Odisha in a week.“The Centre is focusing on infrastructure development which will make a fundamental difference in the lives of common people. Unprecedented investment is being made for modern infrastructure and connectivity in the country.
The emphasis is on road, rail and air connectivity. The enhanced rail connectivity will facilitate movement of people and make mineral resources more accessible to industries,” Modi said and added that apart from railways, the Government’s focus is also on National Highways.
On the day, Modi dedicated the 513-km Balasore-Haldia-Durgapur section of Paradip-Haldia-Durgapur LPG pipeline of IOCL to the nation and inaugurated the Multi Modal Logistic Park at Balasore as well as six Passport Sewa Kendras in Bhadrak, Cuttack, Jajpur, Aska, Keonjhar and Dhenkanal through video conferencing.
He launched several new railway projects, including flagging off of the second passenger train service from Tatanagar to Badampahar. There will be a rail-linkage between Howrah and Mumbai via Tatanagar for six days a week. Electrification of the railway line was also sanctioned. Doubling of 9-km long Naranpur-Basantpur and 11.3 km long Chillikidara-Sagadapata lines were also dedicated.
Modi unveiled a digital plaque to mark commencement of work for conservation and development of Rasika Ray temple and excavated structure at ancient Haripurgarh fort. He laid the stone for four-laning of three NH projects of Rimuli-Koida section of NH-520, Singara-Binjabahal of NH-49 and Koida-Rajamunda section of NH-520.
Many return disappointed
Goura Kuanrbabu walked more than five km despite his physical disability to catch a glimpse of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But he could not make it to the venue at Chhau Field due to heavy rush at the entry gates. “Modi is doing a good job for the country. I wanted to see him. But how unlucky I am. They should have organised the meeting at a larger location as the venue was too small to handle the crowd,” the 60-year-old differently-abled said while returning disheartened. Like Goura, the dream of thousands of people from different places of Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak and Jajpur to watch Modi speaking was shattered as they could not enter the ground.
Hotels run out of food
As thousands of people thronged Baripada town to participate in BJP’s pre-election rally, hotels and small eateries struggled to serve food. By 2 pm, most of the hotels located within two km radius of the venue were closed. Though arrangements were made by the organisers for party workers and supporters of their respective districts, those who had come on their own were seen scouting for eateries. The hotels, which had anticipated the rush, made brisk business. The town has over 100 big and small eateries.
KV turns singer
While Union Ministers Jual Oram, Dharmendra Pradhan and senior leader Pratap Sarangi bashed Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik before the arrival of the Prime Minister, former Minister and ex-president of State BJP KV Singhdeo turned singer. He sang ‘Ajao Modi Ji, Chha Jao Modi Ji’ earning instant acclaim from the audience. The PM’s initial address in three languages, including Santhali, enthused the tribals who had congregated in large numbers at the venue.
Modi’s sand art removed
As it was the second visit of a Prime Minister after more than 20 years and the guest was none other than Narendra Modi, his lovers had not left any stone unturned to impress him. Besides the larger than life cutouts and Modi banners dotting the town’s skyline, a sand art made by sculptor Dasarath Mohanta adorned the front of the stage. But the sculpture depicting the Prime Minister’s face was removed at the last minute due to security concerns.